Only five of the 905 independent candidates who fought the Assembly polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh romped home, Election Commission data reveal. Three of the five won from Gujarat and two in the hill state, according to the election results announced yesterday. A total of 793 independent candidates were in the fray for the polls in Gujarat and 112 in Himachal Pradesh. Three out of 793 such candidates (or 0.37 per cent) in Gujarat and two out of 112 (or 1.78 per cent) in Himachal Pradesh were successful. Independents, however, were in the third position in terms of votes polled, after the BJP and the Congress. In Gujarat, they got 4.9 per cent or 12,90,213 votes. BJP got 49.1 per cent or 1,47,23,481 votes and Congress 41.4 per cent or 1,24,38,349 votes. In Himachal Pradesh, independents got 6.3 per cent or 2,36,096 votes. With 18,19,040 votes, the BJP grabbed 48.7 per cent of the share, while the Congress got 41.8 per cent or 15,58,435 votes.
The three victorious candidates from Gujarat are Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani (from Vadgam constituency), Ratansinh Magansinh Rathod (Lunawada) and Bhupendrasinh Vechatbhai Khant (Morva Hadaf). In Himachal Pradesh, Hoshyar Singh defeated Ravinder Singh Ravi of the BJP to win from Dehra, while Prakash Rana trounced BJP stalwart Gulab Singh Thakur in Jogindernagar. Mevani, who was supported by the Congress, defeated Vijay Chakravarti of the BJP, Rathod won against BJP’s Patel Manojkumar Rayajibhai and Khant raced past the BJP’s Dindor Vikramsinh.